High Yield of Pure Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes from the Catalytic Decomposition of Acetylene on in Situ Formed Cobalt Nanoparticles
For the first time, multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) could be formed selectively in a high yield, free of any disordered carbon by-product, from the catalytic decomposition of acetylene at 600 °C on a CoxMg(1-x)O solid solution. Starting from 1 g of catalytic substrate, 4 g of pure MWNTs were obtained after its dissolution in boiling concentrated HCl, without any additional purification in strongly oxidizing medium, as is required for other methods of nanotube production. In situ reduction of CoO by dihydrogen liberated from acetylene decomposition allows highly divided metal particles to be continuously produced as synthesis proceeds. This is undoubtedly the reason for the good performance of the catalyst and for the ability to produce nanotubes in a narrow diameter range, namely from 10 to 15 nm. With the use of acetylene instead of methane, the synthesis proceeds at low temperature, which prevents the growth of carbon shells, in which the metal particles are generally embedded, decreasing their activity. Because of the very low specific surface area of the catalyst support, the amount of disordered carbon by-product formed is negligible.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2002-10-01
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